Cooking With Stanley Tucci!
As a huge fan of Stanley Tucci’s new CNN travel show, I decided to tackle one of the dishes he showcases in the “Naples” episode:
Spaghetti alla Nerano!
When my wife Alex and I watched the episode, we fell in love with this simple pasta dish, and knew we had to make it for ourselves!
I found a recipe online for Spaghetti alla Nerano that looked incredible, so it was time to make it at home!
Line Up Your Ingredients!
First thing I do is put out all of the ingredients that I will be using, and I prep everything I can before I begin…for this recipe, however, it’s all about pre-cooking your most crucial ingredient!
It’s all about pre-cooking the zucchini – two of them in fact! This is done several hours ahead of dinner – Tucci says he does it the night before!
Slice the zucchini very thin, then heat up your olive oil in a pan and drop them in!
Fry them until they begin to turn golden brown – I did it in batches and each one took 6-7 minutes, and I stirred them every so often to keep them moving like this:
Take the Zucchini out with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain.
Then, refrigerate them until it’s time for dinner!
Time To Make Spaghetti!
When it’s time for dinner, cook your spaghetti al dente, so it’s still a bit firm. I actually decided to cook my Linguine in very little water, then drained a bit, added some butter and let it simmer and soak!
It creates a sauce for the noodles, and you don’t have to drain any of the water off…I love cooking spaghetti this way!
Cheese It Up!
I added a bit of grated cheese to the creamy pasta at this point – a mix of parmigiano, pecorino romano and a touch of shredded mozzarella
Next up, I dropped some of my Zucchini into the pasta to mix it in…that is a buttery creamy broth at the bottom now.
The recipe had all of the zucchini going in at this point, but I chose to reheat a bit of the zucchini slices separately so I could do this:
I piled the pasta in a bowl and then put the rest of the zucchini on top, before sprinkling some fresh parsley over it all…the original recipe called for fresh basil, but I didn’t have any!
I was very happy with how it turned out – remember, I sprinkled cheese into the noodles before I added the zucchini, but you can sprinkle more over the top as well!
So, how did it taste?
Well, it was delicious, and here’s why: the noodles were buttery and creamy, and the zucchini had a nuttiness from the frying – the combo makes for a rich, fresh pasta dish and Alex and I loved!
Thanks to Stanley Tucci for this, in fact you need to watch his great travel show right now, and you can get more details on it here:
Tucci’s love of Italian food is clear – he has cookbooks, and he and Tony Shaloub starred in the beautiful film “Big Night”, about two brothers who try to save their restaurant by cooking a “pasta pie” for a big star:
Their plan is to serve a famous Singer the ultimate Italian dish: a Timpano!
“Big Night” is a beautiful film with Tony Shaloub as well – directed by Tucci and Actor Campbell Scott – here’s a look at the film and the trailer, plus the recipe for an Italian Pie, the “Timpano!”
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Let me know if you’ve seen the great film “Big Night”, or have even made a Timpano – and if you’ve had this incredible Zucchini Pasta dish – also, if you like these recipes, feel free to share on social media!